New A&E plan for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary

Massive investment at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary could see a new A&E department up and running by 2023.

But the development – with £196.5m allocated for both the HRI and Calderdale Royal Hospital – depends on whether concerns can be addressed over the condition and reliability of “high risk” buildings at the HRI site.

The millions being pumped into the HRI will pay for a brand new A&E facility as well as the improvement of existing buildings “to address the most critical estate maintenance and safety requirements”.

The news that our A&E is being improved instead of closed comes almost seven years since the Huddersfield Examiner first revealed the threat to the facility.

The bombshell that HRI could be demolished completely followed in January 2016.  Health chiefs finally gave up their bid to move most services to Halifax exactly two years ago.

In Halifax plans are progressing for the creation of additional wards, theatres and a new A&E – including a dedicated paediatric emergency department – at Calderdale Royal.

An update report to the Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Meeting (Sept 25) revealed that timelines for the reconfiguration had shifted due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

If a design for HRI is completed by January 2021 then a planning application will be submitted to Kirklees Council.

That will be followed by the submission of a Full Business Case to NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care.

Construction work is hoped to begin by December 2021 with completion in 2023.

For Calderdale Royal construction work is set for completion in 2025 following sign-off on design and business cases.

Architects have worked with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) throughout 2019-20 to develop a design brief to inform the future building design and construction schemes at HRI and CRH.

The report said: “Members of the public and colleagues have described their aspirations for modern health care services, delivered in buildings that offer a healing and therapeutic environment that is welcoming, calm and provides a light environment with external views; is accessible and inclusive supporting diverse patient needs; that ensures privacy and dignity and enables the optimal use of digital technology to deliver care and support.”

The CHFT says both hospitals will be “digital by design”, ensuring “modern working practices through better use of technology”.

YorkshireLive – Halifax